Canada Cattle On Feed Drops Below Year Ago

Canada’s Aug. 1 cattle-on-feed population fell below the Aug. 1, 2021, total in a move that continued to mirror the 2016-2020 average monthly changes rather than last year’s, CanFax data showed.

CanFax, a private market advisory group, collects population data from participating feedlots in Alberta and Saskatchewan and shares the total number and placement data with Denver’s Livestock Marketing Information Center for compilation and public release on the LMIC website.  The rest is shared only with its members.




Canada’s cattle on feed on Aug. 1 totaled 891,159 head, down 94,833, or 9.62%, from July 1’s 985,992 head.  This was 29,823, or 3.24%, less than last year’s 920,982 head but up 149,280, or 20.1%, from the previous five-year average of 741,879 head.

Monthly feedlot occupants have followed the 2016-2020 average all year, and through June were mirroring monthly 2021 totals as well, although 2022 numbers were at higher levels than either 2021 or the average.  But beginning with the July 1 totals, last year’s monthly totals diverged from the average as feedlots swelled with younger calves that normally would have spent more time on grass.

However, last year’s extensive drought and wildfires pushed more late-summer and early fall placement plans forward, a market analyst said.  Thus, Canada’s feedlots dealt with higher monthly total residents for the rest of the year.

There still were some seasonal changes to Canada’s on-feed numbers, though, and the analyst said this could be attributed to the highly seasonal nature of raising cattle in Canada.  Seasonal changes are very pronounced in Canada, dictating when pastures are available and when they are not.  Weanings and cattle movements are, by necessity, very seasonal.

Going forward, there is no reason to think this year’s trend of following the 2016-2020 average at a higher level will change for the rest of the year, the analyst said.  This means the low in feedlot totals will come on Sep. 1, and the annual high will come on Dec. 1.




Meanwhile, monthly placements of calves into Canada’s feed yards continues to follow the 2016-2020 average at a higher level, as do the totals.

The data showed feedlots admitted 61,181 head of feeder cattle onto their premises in July, down 26,725, or 30.4%, from 87,906 in June and down 79,128, or 56.4%, from 140,309 in July 2021 but up 6,184, or 11.2%, from the previous five-year average of 54,997.

July should be the low point in Canadian feedlot placements.  From there, they should rise to the October high before falling off into January.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $143.18 to $147.31 per cwt, compared with the last week’s range of $136.12 to $144.00.  FOB dressed steers, and heifers went for $216.32 to $220.53 per cwt, versus $212.48 to $220.48.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was up $0.98 per cwt at $265.44 while select was down $0.60 at $239.12.  The choice/select spread widened to $26.32 from $24.74 with 112 loads of fabricated product and 48 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA said basis bids for corn from feeders in the Southern Plains were steady to down $0.20 at $2.40 to $2.70 a bushel over the Sep futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.10 over Sep, which settled at $6.26 3/4, down $0.13.

No contracts were tendered for delivery against the Aug live cattle contract Tuesday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $179.35 per cwt up $0.31.  This compares with Tuesday’s Aug contract settlement of $181.52, up $1.60.